mandag 28. mars 2016

Battle at Lund: Swedish Masters #5 (#125): Haley2 vs Father Lucant

:: Prologue ::

With 4 consecutive wins the field was becoming really tight. The event was scheduled for 5 games and a finale and we were now down to 4 players with a 4-0 record. The dreaded 5th game was lost at NM against Retribution, a faction I know very well. This time I was facing a skilled Convergence player, Benjamin, and as he fielded a faction I hardly know at all I expected one hell of a fight. Game on!

:: Lists ::

Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
- Thorn - PC: 8
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Gastone Crosse - PC: 3
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 1
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt: 4
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer - Officer 2
Father Lucant, Divinity Architect - WJ: +5
- Corollary - PC: 3
- Prime Axiom - PC: 19
Transfinite Emergence Projector - PC: 9
Transfinite Emergence Projector - PC: 9
Attunement Servitors - PC: 2
Enigma Foundry - PC: 3
Optifex Directive - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
Optifex Directive - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
Reductors - Leader & 9 Grunts: 6

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Right off the bat Ben is yet another great sport as he takes me through the various things in his that I do not know how work (basically the huge bases and the servitors). We are playing Destruction and Ben gets to move first. After having half of an idea of how to approach his list (kill a battle engine on his feat turn and the axiom the turn after) I deploy the Stormwall centrally, ATGM + Haley on its left and the rest on the right.

:: Game ::

Convergence run up and Lucant casts Watcher + Deceleration.

I just want to start putting boxes on the battle engines and given his position I'd say it's both most critical for me to put boxes on his left one and it's likely to be the one closest to me due to the map and placement of objectives. I shoot it and deal 10 or so boxes with the Stormwall. Haley prioritizes Deceleration, luckily.

Lucant feats and the battle engine is repaired fully. That sucks. The Prime Axiom moves up and launches a servitor which, hold your breath, kills Aiyana and Holt. Yes, MAT5 followed by POW7 blast kills them both. I am stunned but I realize this is just dice happening. Suck it up and move on. Ben even apologizes for it but as I told him, you can't not take the chance. After all I could've placed them better. The battle engine on the left moves up and sprays the Stormwall. This time the dice are not as favourable and the damage is relatively insignificant.

I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do. I realize I have to deal with the Battle Engine after thinking for many long minutes and I commit fully to it. Mathematically it should've died "on average" as they say and losing Aiyana was a huge blow so I can't afford to have the dice against me. However they are and there's nothing to do about it so there I am. At least Deceleration is up again.

Everything Ben has shoots the Stormwall. His dice are considerably below average as well so this is turning into a bit of a comedy, sort of like Pacific Rim where these huge things keep striking eachother with none going down.

I have to move the Stormwall over to start working on the Axiom. However I also need to kill the battle engine. Luckily it is placed as such that I can move over to the Axiom without the Stormwall getting -2 to hit on said Axiom because of intervening cover. The e-leaps clear out a few support models but crucially I miss 2 attacks on the battle engine before it goes down so the Axiom only suffers ~half a side of damage. While it's true that this indeed results in much the same effect as + 2 attacks for the next turn, I'm concerned with my ability to deal with whatever's on my plate -next- turn again. Eiryss positioned herself just over 10" away from the battle engine on my feat turn (easy to measure with Haley nearby) and that pays off as I can now run her up to deny the Axiom focus allocation. I just have to hope he cannot kill her unless he commits Lucant, which is disastrous for him both in terms of personal safety and being able to threaten the Stormwall with said Lucant.

The second battle engine moves up and fires at the Stormwall. With the Prime Axiom pounding it as well following Purification from Lucant (who opted not to engage Eiryss and thus she lived) I take a huge beating but the rolls are still not enough to quite take it out. He cripples my right side, though.

I brainfart as I don't turn the Stormwall around to pound the Battle Engine following the death of the Prime Axiom. This means that I have to hope for my shooting to come through, again, with deceleration up. Gastone spikes and takes it out after ATGM helps clear servitors. Now I fully expect Lucant to charge in and kill the Stormwall next turn so I put my army in a position to aim to improve my chances of taking him out should he opt to do just that.

Again as with my 4th game the time is really short here so I have to stop the pictures. The Corollary runs up Lucant charges the Stormwall, casts Purification and Positive Charge. Stormwall goes down but Lucant is left on a single focus.

Now, with more experience and more time I might've been able to turn this into a scenario victory. He has only a couple of Reductors left and Lucant that can really fight and Lucant doesn't even contest (plus he can be time bombed). I have Thorn and most of my shooting well and alive. Furthermore Lucant has taken 3 boxes from e-leaps in the following turns. I am looking at a lucky charm damage boosted time bomb followed by TK and my entire army aiming at him. I go for the assassination.

Reinholdt activates and Lucky Charms Haley. Thorn moves outside of 5" of Eiryss so Haley can channel through him. I cast Time Bomb and boost to hit... Only to miss, despite the Squire re-roll. It even deviates so that he doesn't even suffer -2 DEF. Wow, ok. For a second I think that this is a sign from the dice gods that I've had my share of luck today. The TK cast is boosted and uses lucky charm and at least I get to turn him around. Eiryss takes a shot at him to take out the last focus (after the mechanics miss their free strikes) but misses her shot. Junior's shot hits but is shield guarded. Gastone then aims and pulls off a ridiculous 15 damage. The first shot is boosted attack + damage and the damage dice come up 6, 5, 4. The second shot is boosted attack and normal damage and when I hit I roll a 6 and a 5 for damage. That says something about the spikes! ATGM receive an Arcane Inferno order and Lucant goes down!

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What an absolutely crazy game. I had no idea what I was doing for the first turns and when I realized what I should've done all along I was behind, significantly behind. We then followed up with a couple of turns where we both fluked, and the defining moment of the game was when he failed to kill the Stormwall with the Axiom + battle engine, allowing me to take out both in return. 

What I should've done is keep A+H safe and focus on the left Battle Engine with them on my feat turn (which naturally followed his). If I take that down on his feat turn I can follow up on the Prime Axiom the turn after, with Aiyana alive it will likely go down (dice +2 damage for the full 7 attacks is over 60 boxes on average before we even factor in other damage sources). Oh well. 

In the end I pull off an assassination run that might look crazy, but don't forget that prior to any rolls being made I have a few nasty heavy hitters that never came through. B13th never got to shoot for example and they will do 3.5 per shot on average if they hit. Time Bomb hits 90% of the time and dice minus 4 with lucky charm and a boosted roll is another 8 boxes, plus the -2 DEF for the rest of the army. While I haven't calculated it precisely I think the run will succeed more often than not, a chance I'm happy to take following such a tough game. With the Time Bomb miss though I really needed some spikes to come through and Gastone made it happen, in typical fashion (my love for his boosted POW12s has made me even consider taking Allison Jakes for the hand cannon alone!). 

So 5-0 and finale for me, where yet another Convergence army waited...

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